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José Mauricio Nunes Garcia
José Mauricio Nunes Garcia 1


The chapel master was not forgotten by the students, who continued copying it works. The "Mass of St. Cecilia" (CPM 113) was presented a second time in 1830.

In 1831, Emperor Pedro I abdicated the Brazilian throne on behalf of his son Pedro, then five years old. He sailed to England in order to build a fleet to fight against his brother Michael, who usurped the Portuguese throne of his daughter Maria da Glória.

A regency government was established in Brazil until adulthood of the child. One of the first decrees of the new government dissolved the orchestra of the Imperial Chapel. Some of the dismissed musicians survived as music teachers, few as copyists. But most of them experienced unemployment and poverty.

In 1840 the prince Pedro, aged 14, was crowned Emperor Peter II. In 1842 he took the first steps to restore the musical activity in the Imperial Chapel, by appointing Francisco Manuel da Silva, a former student of Nunes Garcia, chapel master. The Mauritian repertoire was again presented, but with reformulations, in order to "modernize" the music.

Da Silva composed the music of the Brazilian national anthem, the melody inspired a recurring motif in some of the sacred works of the priest and the introduction from a Mass of Marcos Portugal. He also founded the Imperial Conservatory of Music, the current School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

In Campinas, São Paulo, Manuel José Gomes, the father of the composer Carlos Gomes, collected 14 copies of the compositions of Nunes Garcia in a personal file.

Other major cities that preserved the Mauritian repertoire are in the state of Minas Gerais. In São João D'El Rey, the Lira Sanjoanense Musical Society, founded in 1776, has many copies, some of them unique, of many of his works. And the Orchestra Ribeiro Bastos, in the same city, is not far behind. In Ouro Preto, the Museum of the Inconfidência is the current owner of the collection of music sheets gathered by the German musicologist Francisco Curt Lange, including the autograph manuscript of "Short Mass" (CPM 112), of 1823.

Alberto Nepomuceno (1864-1920)
Alberto Nepomuceno
(1864-1920). 2

But the preservation of most of the Mauritian works is due to the Bento das Mercês, archivist and copyist of the Imperial Chapel. He made accurate copies of many works by creating a personal archive which was subsequently acquired from the heirs, by the Brazilian government. Today, the collection, named "Gabriela Alves de Souza," belongs to the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

The School of Music has also two other important collections, which include many other works of the priest: that of the Royal Farm of Santa Cruz, and of Francisco Manuel da Silva. The first director of the School, Leopoldo Miguez and composer Alberto Nepomuceno (1864-1920) studied and edited many of these scores.

Another admirer was Alfred d'Escragnolle, Viscount of Taunay, a grandson of Nicholas Taunay. Taunay wrote several articles in journals and texts about the composer, and after being elected Representative in 1881, presented in 1882 a bill designed to track all the works of the priest-teacher, which was not approved. His son Alfonse gathered the texts of his father, and in 1930 published in two books: "Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia," and "Two great glories of Brazil: José Maurício and Carlos Gomes".

After Nepomuceno's death in 1920, live presentations of Nunes Garcia's works became rare. In 1930 his Requiem (CPM 185) was presented at the Candelária Church, conducted by composer Francisco Braga. This same work was performed in 1948, in the funeral mass of composer Lorenzo Fernandez.

In 1941, the researcher, musicologist and conductor Mrs. Cleofe Person de Mattos (1913–2002), professor at the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, founded the Coro Pró-Arte, later Association of Choral Singing, a non-profit institution, whose goal was - and still is today - to perform Brazilian music, especially that of Nunes Garcia.

Mattos wrote and published by the Federal Council of Culture in 1970, a "Thematic catalog of the works of José Maurício Nunes Garcia," a rigorous survey of all of his works. In the 1980s, she helped publish, for the National Endowment of the Arts (FUNARTE), some of them. And finally, in 1997, she published, by the National Library, the book "José Maurício Nunes Garcia - Biography," in which rigorous scientific research blends with a biographical novel.

The Thematic Catalogue and the Biography were the main sources we consulted to build this website.

Cleofe Person de Mattos
Cleofe Person de Mattos (1913-2002) 3

<I>Mauricinas</I>. Alegoria em homenagem ao padre-mestre

Allegory with monogram in honor of Father José Maurício Nunes Garcia. Ornament to the cover page of Mauricinas 4.

1 GARCIA Jr., José Maurício Nunes. José Maurício Nunes Garcia. Litograph. Rodrigo Goulart Collection. MATTOS, Cleofe Person de. José Maurício Nunes Garcia - Biografia [Biography]. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, 1997. Front Cover.

2 Wikipedia (portuguese) Access: Oct. 7, 2011.

3 MATTOS, op. cit., 1997. Back cover.

4 2º Centenário do Nascimento / José Maurício Nunes Garcia (1767-1830) / Exposição Comemorativa [2nd Birth Centennial of José Maurício Nunes Garcia (1767-1830). Commemorative Exhibition]. Foreword by Cleofe Person de Mattos. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca Nacional, Divisão de Publicações e Divulgação, 1967. 95p. Annexed to p. 52.

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